My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cool & Green & Shady


We've enjoyed such a wet, cool spring and early summer - wearing jackets in the mornings and evenings (and at times during the days), needing to run the pellet stove at times to take the chill off, still sleeping under blankets - the majority of days have been quite pleasant, and the landscape so green and lush. Of course we knew it couldn't last, but didn't think it would change so drastically and abruptly. We went from a high of 58º at our house on Sunday to the 90's Tuesday and Wednesday. I had to run to town yesterday and at noon my car's thermometer read 99º (at home an hour later, it read 89º). Compared to much of the nation, sweltering under record-breaking 3-digit temperatures for a while now, that's no big deal. But that's awfully hot for June in these parts, and a 40 degree jump in 3 days doesn't give anyone time to acclimate! Fortunately it's cooled back off to the 70's now and is supposed to hover around the seasonably reasonable mid 70's/mid 80's for most of the holiday weekend (and beyond). But during yesterday's blistering afternoon when I started working on this post, I chose a few refreshing photos to share since I felt in serious need of someplace cool an' green an' shady...


I took this one on a walk with BW and the dogs last Saturday along the pretty dirt lane to the Bradford Brinton Memorial, and knew as soon as I saw it that it was a great SkyWatch Friday candidate. I love how the big, old cottonwood trees form a leafy canopy that shades the road, which is made even cooler by the creek that tumbles (or, in the case of this year's super-saturated spring, roars) alongside it...


For some great sky photos from around the world, visit...


Earlier that day we'd taken the girls to Kendrick Park in Sheridan. I took several fun photos of that day's outing that I'll share later, but for now this particular one is perfect for this post! I love these overgrown stone steps that lead to a shady little glen, and just beyond to a dirt trail that climbs a steep hill up to the junior high school above the park...


Some of you may have been expecting my next Colorado vacation post instead of this one, but this one's not completely unrelated, since I took this next photo in Boulder. :-) I loved this inviting picnic table behind a Chautauqua Park cottage, semi-secluded below the hiking trail, and couldn't resist snapping a photo...

If we'd had food with us, I doubt we could have resisted
"borrowing" this spot for a picnic in the shade.
Those two empty chairs were practically shouting our names!


As June gives way to July, here's wishing everyone in the northern hemisphere plenty of cool, green and shady spots to rest, relax, and refresh this summer!

Tess restores herself with shady solitude in the Faerie Glade

21 comments:

  1. Love the tree-frame in the photo; it's something I get quite a bit (18 trees on a half-acre property; can't really see that much of the sky in summer), but this one invites the viewer "in" somehow.

    Your Tess looks like she could be related to my border-collie mixes, Woody and Arlo. Happy Friday!

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  2. Owlfarmer ~ Thanks for visiting and commenting! I too love views of the sky framed by trees, and I agree that this one does seem to beckon you in. It put me in mind of so many English country lanes, completely canopied with leafy trees, and so shadowed by them you almost needed headlights in the daytime. The entrance to one of those lanes was always quite beguiling!

    Woody and Arlo ~ the Guthrie boys, eh? I love their names! Tess is Chow crossed with (we think) Australian Shepherd. My avatar is our border collie-collie mix, Willow. (The genetics of our third dog, Josie, is anyone's guess!) Give Woody and Arlo an ear-scratch and belly-rub for me, and have a happy holiday weekend!

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  3. Very nice shots. I especially love the second one with the tunnel of green.

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  4. We've had that crazy up & down weather here lately, too. Tomorrow is only going to be about 85 degrees, but the humidity is bringing the heat index to 100! Yuck.

    I love your sky photo. I often see sky scenes that make me wish I had a camera. I need to carry it with me much more!

    I hope the weekend brings you nice, comfortable weather!

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  5. Al ~ Thank you, that's the photo that inspired this post! (Well, that and the hot temps yesterday). :-)

    Molly ~ Would you believe it's only 56º right now? Tomorrow sounds perfect (75º and sunny - I'll push some of that your way!), but by Sunday it's supposed to be in the mid-90s again. Only for one day, though, thank goodness!

    Ugh, that humidity is a killer! We have the opposite phenomenon. It's so dry here, our heat index yesterday was 4º lower than the actual temperature! I just can't bear that steamy, sweltering stuff. I sure hope it cools off for you so you can enjoy your holiday weekend!

    Yes you do! BW and I were looking at some of your photos recently, and we are really impressed with your camera. And now that you have a fun new camera strap, you must fasten it permanently to your body so you never miss another photo. :-)

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  6. Laloofah -- Our weather has been so comfortable of late. However, we are entering the sweltering days beginning this Saturday. I have my Utah family visiting through the 4th. The enjoyable weather has allowed us to enjoy our activities together. Good post -- like all the green. Especially like Tess in the shade. --- barbara

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  7. Just been looking through your last few posts (apologies for not keeping up to date!). Oh my, Earl Grey Cake!!! Love the photos, those green ones are wonderful. It was very hot here on Monday, like breathing treacle, in fact Charlie said he was so hot his intestines were about to explode, not a pleasant thought. How is Tess after her vet visit? It was another £140 yesterday for Mrs P!

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  8. Barbara (from KY) ~ That's great your weather's been so nice for you and your visiting family to enjoy your activities during their visit! The humidity I imagine you get there can be tough on those of us used to the dryer climes of the Rocky Mountain states. Sorry to hear the sweltering stuff is due to arrive tomorrow, but I'm sure it won't diminish the fun factor of their visit! Bet you're a terrific hostess, you have so many fun and interesting places and sights to share with your guests (and blog readers!) :-) Enjoy a safe and happy 4th with your family!

    Modern Mom ~ Thanks!

    Barbara (from UK) ~ No worries, I can empathize with your life lately! Hauling furbabies to the vet, celebrating your husband's birthday, trying to keep up with blogging, and having your house on the market! (How's that going, btw? We had ONE showing in June! It's beyond dreadful here, and terribly discouraging).

    Oh yes, Earl Grey Cake! It was totally worthy of all those exclamation points you gave it, believe me! :-) I'm glad you enjoyed the photos... breathing treacle sounds terribly uncomfortable (as does having your intestines explode!), but having spent several summers and parts of summers in the southern US, I know just what you're describing. I just didn't imagine it got that hot in the UK! Hope it cools off for you (and for Charlie, of course!) soon! (Tell Charlie he's a very vivid narrator. LOL)

    It's our Josie who runs up the vet bills around here, and despite now being on high-dollar prescription dog food for dogs with chronic UTIs, as well as estrogen to shore up her sphincter, she has another infection and is on antibiotics yet again. Thank you, that will be another $100, see you again in 3 weeks. Argh! At least the dog food seems to be making a difference (urine much more dilute, crystals gone, pH lower), and she does drink noticeably more water and pee more frequently now. While it all has me drinking noticeably more beer and wine! I guess we'll never know why she's so plagued with these infections, we've done everything we can to get to the bottom of it. After we get this one cleared up, the vet wants to put her on "pulse antibiotics" (antibiotics for a week every month).

    I did the currency conversion on Mrs. P's vet bill - OUCH! Sounds like they did more than just check her ears! I must visit your blog to see how her visit went! Will your insurance cover any of that, at least? Hope so!

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  9. awesome shots and fabulous view of the sky too.

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  10. awesome photos..i just love the treeframe and Tess photos. Tess is my nickname too:)

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  11. Is that John Denver? I used to have such a huge crush on him when I was a kid.

    I love the picture with the table, very charming.

    Glad to hear the temps will be nice for you over the weekend...we're schedule for the same here...if slightly cooler...but plenty warm enough for some swim in the lake.

    Happy Weekend Laurie!

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  12. sush ~ Thank you, I'm glad you liked them!

    Marites ~ Or should I call you Tess? :-) Thanks so much for stopping by and for your compliments! Tess is especially happy that her photo was one of your favorites. :-)

    Your blog is beautiful! I must explore more of it soon! You really live in a paradise, and take gorgeous photos of it.

    Rose ~ None other! The late (sadly) great J.D. I'm not sure I had a crush on him, but I had two of his albums as a pre-teen - they may have been the first albums I ever owned, come to think of it!

    I thought that picnic table vignette was charming too. I always think of you now when I think of pic-a-nics! :-)

    So is a dip in the lake planned this weekend? We're going to go visit Mocha, run errands, take the pups to the park, and attend the Rod Run tomorrow. BW loves classic cars, and a lot of the owners live on his route so he's always delivering parts to them and watching their restorations unfold. I'm not into cars, but I always have a good time - it's become a bit of a 4th of July tradition with us!

    Have a lovely, relaxing and fun weekend, Rose, whatever you have planned! :-) xoxo

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  13. I really love your photos of the cottonwoods. Perfect for a SWF. These trees are all over my family's property and I love 'em. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  14. Quiet Paths ~ Thanks! I love them too. I know most people don't like it, but I even love seeing the cotton flurries falling from them, creating cotton drifts along that roads and making it look like winter in the spring.

    And thank you for visiting mine! :-)

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  15. I would of had a hard time too resisting that cute table set up for a picnic. It looks like a nice romantic place to enjoy some food!! Love the tree frame photo, natures frames are always there for us to use!
    Thank you very much for visiting my blog and leaving such nice comments. They made my day! I almost gave up trying to catch that photo, and that was the last photo I tryed for! Mama bird was just too fast!! Hungry babies will make you speed I guess! Hope you come back soon for visits!
    Happy Fourth of July to you!!

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  16. msdewberry ~ I know, it was very tempting to plop ourselves at that table and make ourselves quite at home. But I satisfied myself with a photograph. In my pre-blogging days, I never would have considered photographing something like that. Now I see everything through blogger eyes. :-)

    You're very welcome, I enjoyed your post and "birdhouse bed & breakfast" photo immensely, and am glad my comments made your day. I'm also very glad you didn't give up on trying to get a good photo of Mom feeding Junior, because that last photo is a winner! Jr definitely keeps Mom very busy, poor girl probably doesn't even have time for a relaxing soak in the birdbath. :-)

    Thanks too for your reciprocal visit and comment, hope you'll stop by from time to time as well! And a safe and happy Fourth to you, too!

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  17. You're definitely making up for not posting very many posts within the past month or so.. I'm having trouble keeping up, ha! I love when trees make a frame like that. :)

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  18. Eva ~ I know, I've had that magical combination of some free time and lots to blog about! Thanks for attempting to keep up, I've fallen behind on your posts, too. You're consistently prolific with your posts! :-)

    I love those tree-framed scenes too.

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  19. A cool an green an shady spot is just where we were this weekend. It was hot at the lake but there are lot's of trees and lots of shade and we had a great time. The wind cooperated Jim went sailing four times and I went twice. The first time he had to go by himself and mostly all he had to say about that was "it's a lot of work!" Too bad BW wasn't in the neighborhood to lend a hand.

    I loved all your photos and although I like to be unique, my favorite is the same as most of your commenters - the sky as seen through those cottonwood trees. But I had a very close second and that was the picnic table. I could actually see your names written on those chairs! What a lovely spot! I guess that's a lesson on always having food along with you!!

    I won't have as much time this week as last week but will try to visit as often as I can.

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  20. Jo ~ I'm glad you had a fun weekend at the shady lake. And BW would have loved being Jim's First Mate, I'm sure! (Well, you're actually his first mate, so I guess BW would have to be content being the bosun's mate or something. LOL)

    I'm almost certain that you and I hiked past that very cabin with the picnic table, but if I saw it that day I have no recollection of it, and it certainly didn't grab my blogger's eye. But now that I know where it is, should you and I ever find ourselves on that Chautauqua trail again someday we'll have to bring a picnic and to remember to say the magic Boulder Incantation just before we come upon it, "I wish someone would invite us to use their picnic table!" ;-)

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
  • MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
  • THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
  • THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
  • THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
  • THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"